Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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At Peace

Dad finally took his last breath on Sunday, August 19, 2018, sometime around 9 am. We didn’t actually witness it because he took the path so many do – he chose to go when he was alone. We were there though within a few minutes.

Perhaps next week I will post the eulogy I intend to read at his funeral on Saturday. But not today, no spoilers! For anyone interested, here is the funeral information:

Calling hours are Friday, August 24, 4 pm- 8 pm at the Ross Funeral Home; 10 Eckerson Rd.; Akron where there will be an antique fire truck and other equipment on display

The Funeral Service is Saturday, August 25, 11 am at St. Michael’s; 6377 Wolcottsville Rd.; Akron where Craig Wilkins, one of dad’s favorite singers will be leading worship with the gospel tunes Dad loved.

A procession will then head to Terry’s Corner’s Firehall 7801 Chestnut Ridge Rd. Gasport, for a luncheon at 12:30.  A procession will then head to the cemetery in Holley at 2 pm for a 3 pm graveside service.

I wrote the first guest book entry on the three websites where Dad’s obituary is listed (the funeral home and two newspapers) which got me reflecting again. I am hoping that I will be able to fully experience the wake and service. I cope by doing and accomplishing so it will take a conscious effort to stop what is natural to me and just let myself be there experiencing the emotions.

My life has become so intertwined with Dad’s over the last couple of years, that I am truly going to be lost for a while. It is too strange to even think about the large void left behind. I keep looking at my schedule and realize over and over again how much of my life was structured around him. Once again, my household is going to recreate who we are, with one less important person than we want.

Hope to see many of you this weekend. It means so much when others take the time to be there, even we aren’t able to spend the quality time with everyone we want to. Thanks for loving us, and mostly, thanks for loving Dad.


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Serendipity and Irony

You know by now that I’m a bit OCD. (Some of you may say more than a bit, but I interact with some people who make me look mild, so I’m gonna go with “a bit.”…lol) I have my CD’s arranged by category and then alphabetized. Every once in a while I decide I’m going to listen to them again and I start taking them to the car. In order, of course. My first shelf is country and I just finished the B’s (i.e. Garth Brooks, Brooks and Dunn) and started the C’s. That brought out two of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s CD’s that I don’t know very well. Is there a point to this story? Yes, there is. The point is, I don’t listen to music that often, and the selection of the CD I was listening to was purely a systematic, OCD decision.

Today I went to the cemetery. I was talking to my friend on the way there and she asked me if it was a hard thing for me. I told her it wasn’t. If I’m honest, it’s more of an annoyance. I’m not really big on the cemetery. I feel like I have to go or people will think I’m cold and heartless. But it is only Tim’s bones there. I don’t think his soul is anywhere around. (Or so I thought…) I had an appointment in Orchard Park so I decided to stop there. I’m supposed to take things off it by October 1st. I was close, it’s the fourth. I got there and removed the Fourth of July decorations. Shows you the last time I had been there. So I picked them up, stared at the stone for a minute, then kissed my hand and touched the stone like I usually do.

I got in the car. You can only drive one way so I drove around the circle like always. I reach the corner where I look over for one last glance and my quiet “Goodbye, Tim” that is part of my ritual. Right at that exact moment, the next song on my CD starts. It’s “Grow Old With Me.” I had no idea it was on that CD. John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote it. It’s a lovely, slow, unassuming song. And it is the song that Tim and I had sung in our wedding.

So after I fainted (not really, but I felt like I could!), I decided I better sit there and listen to the whole song. It’s beautiful and daunting. I didn’t cry, but I was very moved. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to believe that is all strictly coincidence. I think it was some kind of spiritual connection.

Then the irony hit me. The words are not just about commitment and wedding-ish type lingo, but it is (obviously) about growing old together, specifically. I thought about how ironic it is that we chose that song, and we most definitely are not going to grow old together. Tim will not grow old at all. I wonder often if I will grow old alone. Strangely, for the first time I think, I’m slowly starting to not be terrified of that. It just might be fine.

Anyhow, just thought I would share the story. If my second book wasn’t already in final layout, I would be adding today’s blog to the chapter I called “Visits from Tim.” I think this would definitely qualify!